Be glad, my heart! now fear no more,
Let nothing ever grieve thee;
Christ lives, who lov’d thee long before
Thy being He did give thee,
And ere He made thy wondrous frame;
His love remaineth still the same,
It ne’er can change to hatred.
Be of good cheer! thy nearing end,
My heart! need not appal thee,
No ill’s in it; God doth extend,
His loving hand and call thee
From all the thousand forms of woe
That in this vale of tears below,
Thou ever hast endurèd.
’Tis true, ’tis call’d death’s agony,
But yet it is no dying;
The death of death is Christ, for He
Prevents it from destroying,
That though it puts forth all its pow’r,
No hair it hurteth in the hour
When I from hence am taken.
The sting of death in sin doth lie,
And in our evil doing;
Poor child of Adam! eagerly
This path was I pursuing.
In Christ’s blood sin is wash’d away,
Forgiven are we now for aye,
Ne’er fall in condemnation.
My sin is gone, and I am clean,
Whoever would deprive me,
Henceforth is life eternal mine;
The thought may never grieve me
Of sin’s dread wages earn’d by me;
Who’s reconcil’d, must ever be,
Unhurt by opposition.
Now God’s free grace I with me take,
And all His joy and gladness,
On this last journey that I make,
And know no grief nor sadness.
The foe becomes to me a sheep,
His ire becomes a blessèd sleep,
Of quiet rest the pillow.
Thou Jesus! O thou sweetest Friend,
My light and life art ever!
Thou holdest me, dost me defend,
The foe can move Thee never.
In Thee I am, Thou art in me,
As we are here, we’ll ever be,
Nought here or there can part us.
My body down to rest doth lie,
Fatigued with life’s sad story;
The soul then mounteth up on high,
With chosen ones in glory
It mingles, and keeps joyfully,
The endless year of Jubilee
With all the holy angels.
Oh! Highest Prince of great and small,
May that bless’d day be nearing;
When Thou shalt by Thy trumpet call,
And all the dead be hearing.
Again shall soul and body be
One, and Thy joy shall taste and see,
Thy Father’s kingdom enter.
If ’tis Thy will, O Lord, appear,
To peace and bliss to take me
For ever, Thee may I be near,
How joyful would it make me!
Be open’d wide—of death, thou gate!
That to so bliss’d place and state
Through thee I may pass over.
Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which condemned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >
Translator: J. Kelly
Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >